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European brand of the month: MAXHENKELL EUROPE

By Florian Mueck • Jun 21st, 2009 • Category: European brand, Fashion Theme, Top News

The Festival is a private initiative. And exciting international brands will be the enablers for a great cause. Today, we would like to present to you an exciting brand which is still at the beginning of its life cycle. But we were so enchanted when we heard about its soul and the story behind that we decided to dedicate some room for brands like MAXHENKELL EUROPE; the first European brand of the month.

Founder Patrick Maximilian Henkell von Ribbentrop grew up in New York. His father used to work there for a German bank. Back to Germany and American-minded as he is he wanted to buy a t-shirt of the Humboldt University of Berlin. “We don’t have that“, was the dry answer. Patrick was upset: “As an American the first thing you do is buy a t-shirt.” He decided to do it himself. He bought the license for the naming rights of the renowned university. Of course, that was not easy at all. Patrick remembers that, “They just couldn’t imagine to sell the rights to a 20-year old.” In the end his charm and perseverance beat the thinking in standards and hierarchies.

After several years the Humboldt University regained control over the rights, and Patrick decided to use his know-how and launched MAX HENKELL EUROPE in 2006.

We wanted to know more about this pretty unique European fashion venture…

The Festival | Patrick, we were “shocked” when we found you… A fashion brand with a European soul! Wow!!!

Patrick | Thanks! I was equally shocked when I found your festival website. What a huge and overwhelming project and right up our alley – love it! Yes, the European soul is our big driver since it stands for love, passion, art and a fabulous lifestyle.

The Festival | Sounds too good to be true… When and how did your European fashion ride begin?

Patrick | I have been a fan of Europe and the European idea for a long time, probably ever since studying Russian in St. Petersburg in 1992 just of few years after the Berlin wall fell. The famous Russian soul maybe even had an influence on us when we started creating the brand MAXHENKELL EUROPE and designing our first products. Thanks to our know-how in producing clothing and other merchandising products for European Universities for over 14 years we were able to start planning MAXHENKELL seriously in 2006 and launch our first collection in 2008.

The Festival | How did you come up with the names of your two “protagonists”; Europe and Zeus?

Patrick | That was quite easy since they represent the European soul beautifully. Europe is a gorgeous princess, who is willing to run off with the man she loves and Zeus is the God of all Gods, who is cool enough to get the girl he wants. In addition to that their story originates from a Greek myth and therefore fits well to the “established B.C.” (Before Christ) element of our brand.

The Festival | In general it seems that you use known European icons and images, but in a quite subtle way…

Patrick | Yes, for prints and applications we use various historic and contemporary elements of Europe, ranging from our logo “Europe riding Zeus”, “established B.C.”, the European flag, the number “12”, “12 stars”, “EUROPE” etc. but as you say in a subtle way. Our main focus is finding great fabrics and designing cool casual chic clothing that our fans, the European youth, love to wear.

The Festival | By the way, where does the name Max Henkell come from?

Patrick | In the end of the day it’s quite simple, but I believe MAXHENKELL has a fun twist to it. MAXIMILIAN is my second first name and HENKELL is my first last name, so my full name is Patrick Maximilian Henkell Ribbentrop. The brand name originates from the idea that Europeans wants to keep their country roots, but also want to feel the European soul. In my case Patrick Ribbentrop is German and MAXHENKELL stands for my European soul.

The Festival | Cool and twisted indeed… :) What’s your opinion about The Festival movement?

Patrick | Incredible! I hope we can help out and can’t wait for 2012!

The Festival | Thank you very much and all the best for your great brand!

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Florian Mueck is European, initiator and co-founder of The Festival: "Passion for Europe maybe does not exist in the media. But it does exist in many hearts of many people."
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